The New York Giants will be on the road in Tampa Bay this weekend to take on the Buccaneers. The Giants are off to a disappointing 0-2 start. These back to back losses prompted the Giants to make a huge change, starting rookie quarterback Daniel Jones in place of franchise legend Eli Manning.
This week three game will be crucial for the Giants as they evaluate their new franchise quarterback in his first regular season action. Luckily for Daniel, the Giants’ offense is getting back its best receiver, Sterling Shepard. On top of that, Jones will be able to lean off of Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram.
Evan Engram could be the Giants’ X-Factor in this game. Engram has been performing at the top of his game so far this season and the Buccaneers are a favorable matchup for him.
The Bucs Have Struggled To Defend Tight Ends So Far
The Buccaneers are 1-1 and coming off of an impressive Thursday night victory. Tampa Bay beat their division-rival Carolina Panthers 20-14 thanks in part to their strong defense. The Bucs defense locked up Panthers’ star running back Christian McCaffery, but they did not fare well against tight end Greg Olsen.
The veteran tight end was the most productive player on the Panthers’ offense that night. Olsen caught 6 passes on 9 targets and totaled 110 yards.
This was nothing new though. The Buccaneers also struggled to defend the 49ers’ tight end, George Kittle, in week one. Kittle is one of the best tight ends in the NFL, so it was no surprise to see him play like it. Kittle had 8 receptions for 54 yards. Not the most impressive stat-line, but when considering he had 2 touchdowns called back, it makes his individual performance a little more impressive.
The Buccaneers have had no one to match up with these tight ends as their athletic rookie linebacker Devin White has been dealing with an injury.
The Giants will need to take advantage of this on Sunday. Evan Engram is one of the most athletic and versatile tight ends in the NFL. He is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses and will be set to have a huge game in week three.
Evan Engram Has Been On Top Of His Game
Evan Engram has been on fire since the end of last season. After the Giants lost Odell Beckham Jr. to injury last season, Evan Engram became an impressive piece of the offense. Engram averaged only 36.7 yards per game prior to Beckham’s injury. After Odell went down, Evan’s average jumped all the way to 80 yards per game.
This led many to believe Evan would be much improved in 2019. So far, he has been. In week one, Engram had a career day. Engram torched the Cowboys’ defense with 11 receptions on 14 targets for 116 yards and a touchdown.
Engram looked unstoppable. He could finally be reaching his full potential now that he is a healthy and in an offense that makes him a focal point.
Engram took a step backwards statistically in week two, but so did the rest of the Giants’ offense. Engram is still one of the highest graded tight ends in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. Evan Engram is primed for a breakout season in 2019, and with Daniel Jones as his new quarterback, the future is as bright as ever for the Giants’ offense. A favorable matchup against the Buccaneers’ defense could lead to a strong chemistry between Engram and the Giants’ new signal-caller.